Spokane student’s senior photo with American flag rejected from school yearbook

American flag yearbook photo Spokane
Photo courtesy: Sierra Athos

UPDATE: Photo of senior posing with American flag not ‘in accordance with code guidelines,’ Spokane principal says


SPOKANE, Wash. —A student at Lewis and Clark High School is being told her picture with the American flag won’t be allowed in the yearbook.

VIDEO: Flag photo rejected for yearbook

The school’s yearbook has a new policy: no props allowed.

Sierra Athos, 17, believes the school is violating her freedom of speech.

Athos says her photo has nothing to do with politics; she just loves America and it’s what she’s trying to show in the picture. If the school won’t let her use it, she’s not going to submit another one.

The stars and stripes are in every corner of Athos’ bedroom.

“I wanted a very American room to just represent who I am,” said Athos.

Old Glory is even on her phone.

“I just love America,” said Athos.

She wanted her patriotism to be included in her senior photo.

“I love the flag so I just wanted to represent that in the yearbook,” said Athos.

She sent in her picture for the school’s annual, and was surprised to get an email back saying it wouldn’t be allowed.

This year, Lewis and Clark High School adopted a new photo policy.

“They said no props and I didn’t think anything that that was a prop. Does not seem like a prop to me,” said Athos.

A lot of students have used props over the years. One even had an axe. Athos’ older brother used a car for his. She wonders why the policy changed this year.

“I think they are trying to bring politics into it,” Athos said. “I don’t know why loving your country is political but I guess that’s what it is these days.”

She reached out to KAPP-KVEW sister station 4 News Now, which contacted Spokane Public Schools to ask about the policy.

“Once they found out the news was involved, then they started caring,” said Athos.

The only statement received from SPS said the school would be meeting with Sierra and her parents.

“They want to talk to me and review these guidelines,” said Athos.

She’s hoping the photo will be allowed, but if it isn’t…

“I’m not going to submit anything else, so that’s the picture I want in the yearbook and either I get that or nothing,” said Athos.

Athos and her family will meet with school officials on Wednesday to discuss the issue.